Courtesy Bureau of Reclamation
Get inspired: Samples of Success

There is a reason for the explosion of DIY videos online: We like to see an example of how something was done effectively to better understand how to efficiently use our time undertaking a new task.

The same holds true in planning for drought and other hazards, where seeing a model for a good project can give planners a guide for how to manage a community’s or region’s resources for drought mitigation or response planning.

The Bureau of Reclamation provides dozens of such models of effective plans on their Successful Applications page.
Courtesy Bureau of Reclamation
Drought plan, resilience funding available
The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced two funding opportunities to support drought resiliency projects or drought contingency planning through its Drought Response Program, part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program.

The Drought Response Program was created to encourage a proactive approach to drought. The program provides assistance to water users creating drought contingency plans that take climate change information and long-term drought resilience into consideration.

The WaterSMART program was created in 2010 after Congress passed the SECURE Water Act, which authorized federal water and science agencies to work together with water managers to plan for climate change and the other threats to water supplies and to build secure water resources for their future. The program allows all bureaus within the Department of the Interior to work with states, tribes, local governments and nongovernmental organizations in the pursuit of an efficient and sustainable water supply.

“Reclamation’s portion of the WaterSMART program is achieved through administration of grants, scientific studies, technical assistance, and scientific expertise,” the site states.
Risk guidebook
Nurture Nature Center focuses guidebook on stakeholders
The Nurture Nature Center focuses on engaging the public about environmental risks, a useful tool when engaging audiences in drought planning.

“Communities want to understand the science behind an issue, not for the sake of science itself, but because the issue affects them personally,” the center writes in its guidebook “From Risk to Resiliency: Better Communities Through Science Learning About Local Environmental Risks. “Providing information about topics that are already important to people elevates the level of service provided by informal science learning institutions. By using environmental risk topics as a segue to science learning, we build on existing community interest and connections and build common understanding between the general public and scientists.”

The guidebook provides advice on how to determine what is important to stakeholders and then how to engage them in mitigating environmental risks through community dialogue. The approach draws “on principles of appreciative inquiry, public hazards education, deliberative democracy and public engagement in science."

The Drought Risk Management Resource Center conducts and applies research to improve drought resilience across the United States. It is a partnership between the National Integrated Drought Information System and the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. NIDIS supports the DRMRC through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sectoral Applications Research Program.
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